It is generally recognized that hepatic fibrogenesis is an end result of increased extracellular matrix (ECM) production from the activation and proliferation of hepatic stellate cells (HSCs). An in-depth understanding of the mechanisms of HSC necroptosis might provide a new therapeutic strategy for prevention and treatment of hepatic fibrosis. In this study, we attempted to investigate the effect of curcumol on necroptosis in HSCs, and further to explore the molecular mechanisms. We found that curcumol ameliorated the carbon tetrachloride (CCl4)-induced mice liver fibrosis and suppressed HSC proliferation and activation, which was associated with regulating HSC necroptosis through increasing the phosphorylation of receptor-interacting protein kinase 1 (RIPK1), receptor-interacting protein kinase 3 (RIPK3). Moreover, curcumol promoted the migration of RIPK1 and RIPK3 into necrosome in HSCs. RIPK3 depletion impaired the anti-fibrotic effect of curcumol. Importantly, we showed that curcumol-induced RIPK3 up-regulation significantly increased mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and mitochondrial depolarization. ROS scavenger, N-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC) impaired RIPK3-mediated necroptosis. In addition, our study also identified that the activation of c-Jun N-terminal kinase1/2 (JNK1/2) was regulated by RIPK3, which mediated curcumol-induced ROS production. Down-regulation of RIPK3 expression, using siRIPK3, markedly abrogated JNK1/2 expression. The use of specific JNK1/2 inhibitor (SP600125) resulted in the suppression of curcumol-induced ROS production and mitochondrial depolarization, which in turn, contributed to the inhibition of curcumol-triggered necroptosis. In summary, our study results reveal the molecular mechanism of curcumol-induced HSC necroptosis, and suggest a potential clinical use of curcumol-targeted RIPK1/RIPK3 complex-dependent necroptosis via JNK1/2-ROS signaling for the treatment of hepatic fibrosis.
Jia, Y., Wang, F., Guo, Q., Li, M., Wang, L., Zhang, Z., … Zheng, S. (2018). Curcumol induces RIPK1/RIPK3 complex-dependent necroptosis via JNK1/2-ROS signaling in hepatic stellate cells. Redox Biology, 19, 375–387. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.redox.2018.09.007